Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Berlioz Symphonie Fantastique Harold en Italie / Eschenbach Orchestre de Paris|
Actors: Berlioz, Zimmermann, Orchestre de Paris, Christoph Eschenbach
Genres: Musicals & Performing Arts
Sounds great but utterly unwatchable
Jeffrey White | 01/29/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I have to wonder why this performance was released on DVD at all. The camera work is all hand-held and very unsteady, the picture quality is poor and one gets the impression the director has never been to an orchestral concert before setting up to shoot this one. The Karajan/Berlin DVD's use some odd camera angles but they have nothing on this. Who wants to see an extreme close up of the tip of a violin bow for any extended period of time. With the exception of a few woodwind solos all the action is unseen in favour of skewed shots of Eschenbach (who is a fine contuctor but not engaging to watch as an audience member like Bernsietin, Karajan or especially Abbado) or an extremely wide shot of the orchestra taken from directly above which reveals little of the kineticism of the performance. After devouring the Abbado/Lucrene DVDs this one is beyond disappointing and actually made me angry."
I feel like I'm going to be sick.
M. Bursey | 03/13/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is orchestral and solo viola playing of the highest calibre. Tabea Zimmerman is a genius and this has got to be the most impressive account of Harlod I have ever heard. Every viola student should own this DVD. What an incredible sound, what technical ease, what musicality. Simply the best.
I have to say something about the camera work. I have never studied cinematography, but I have to say that I really don't like this "approach". This seems like post-modernist bs. Jeff White is right. Who wants to watch a close-up of the tip of a violin bow during a tremolo? Sometimes, the cameras zoom past the musicians for no good reason at all. Sometimes we get a close-up of a musician's nostrils. Sometimes we get to look down the end of a flute. Sometimes we can watch Eschenbach's reflection in the percussion instruments. Sometimes the camera cuts out and comes back in, as if you are looking through a peephole in a door. Sometimes they move the camera to make it seem like you are on a rocking boat. Pardon me while I .... blaaaaaa. Hooray for art?
I am giving this DVD 3 stars on the basis of Tabea's viola playing (5 stars) and the crappy pretentious camera work (1 star)."
It was a mistake to buy
H. H. Wissa | 09/12/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Finally, I got the DVD in my hands after more than 10 days of waiting, since I purchased it, prepared my self to watch one of the most beloved symphony I liked,
The concert started with a very close up to the face of the Maestro then a very close up to his hands, a very close up to his stick, a very close up to the mouth of the blowing instrument players, a very close up to the chin and nose of violin players!!!!!! what is that? Where are the orchestra? Oh finally here are they, but just for couple of seconds, then back to the close ups again, I start to get nervous, can you imagine a nose and chin in 29 inch TV, I took the remote control and shut the TV off, and start to listen to the music, after a while I told my self, wait a minute, I bought a DVD not a CD how come this happened to me, I wish I could refund this DVD and get my money back.
Less than fantastic.
Ian C. Punter | Thailand | 05/14/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This review is possibly superfluous as I fully concur with the previous two reviewers' opinions. I wonder if the conductor and soloist (in Harold), both of them major figures in the current music scene, had any idea what the visuals would consist of? What a terrific coupling, one to whet the appetite, and what a let-down!
I still cling to the outmoded idea that most of us want to see what the conductor is DOING, so why exclude his arms? - and as one of the previous reviewers commented, there are few enough photogenic conductors around to warrant a big close-up! Truth be told there's not much warmth showing in Eschenbach's rather severe demeanour! As for the direction, there's a strong sense of 'aren't I clever?' throughout. It was Berlioz who was clever, astonishingly so, so why not let the music and its interpreters do the talking?
Unlike on CD, where many popular works are recorded over and over, (and we the consumers benefit from having a choice), this is unlikely to be the case on DVD. What company is now going to release another Fantastique or Harold, and in doing so expect to makes any sales? (Unless Abbado has a sudden late-in-life infatuation with Berlioz, and insists on a Bob Coles, a Barry Gavin or a Brian Large, to direct it, in which case I'll get my credit card warmed up!)
It's simple really, a good director has a fair idea of what the viewer wants, and would expect, to see, - the bad director doesn't!
I suspect that if this camera crew had covered the World Cup, we would still be wondering what the goals were like!
After all this carping, I must add that the performances and sound are fine, and it's valuable to have the wonderful Tabea Zimmermann recorded for posterity.